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Energy Saving vs Filament light bulbs

Does enyone else think that the equivalent wattage rating for Energy Saving Light bulbs is generally incorrect, i.e. - an 18W or 20W bulb is sold as an equivalent to the old 100W filament bulb? This has always, in my case, turned out to be untrue, even after a 'warm-up' time. They usually appear to be the equivalent of a 60W filament bulb. It is difficult to find a larger wattage ES bulb in the High St. 23W or 25W types can be bought online, however, at CPC or TLC (both discount electrical dealers) and probably elsewhere. For the folk who don't like the new bulbs, these companies also are selling 100W filament bulbs till stocks are exhausted. I have bought 23W ES bulbs and they do appear to match the 100W filament types after warm-up.


  • maninthestreet
    Are you buying a CFL light with the same colour temperature as the tungsten light it replaces? Many CFL are desribed as 'warm white', and you will notice the difference if you use them in place of a clear tungsten bulb which has a 'cooler' colour temperature.
    "You were only supposed to blow the bl**dy doors off!!"
  • icky15
    I don't know as I don't know the 'colour temperature' of an 'off the shelf' tungsten bulb. Including the colour temperature on the pack is not very helpful when I dont have any figures to compare it to. Suffice to say I have yet to find an equivalent for a 100W tungsten bulb from the available 18 or 20W energy saving bulbs. I also don't think many people know very much about 'colour temperature' and how it applies.
  • economiser
    I agree. You need something like 25W to get a 100W equivalent to my eye. The 11W is the equivalent of 40W. In other words you use about a quarter of the power with energy savers rather than a fifth.
  • edgex
    edgex Posts: 4,177 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    what were you using 100w bulbs in to start with?
    ive always found 60w to be enough, for ceiling lights & for table/reading lamps
  • icky15
    I use 100W bulbs for:
    Lighting my garage/workshop (x3)
    Central illumination in rooms
    Stairs (important!)
    I use 25/40/60W bulbs for table/bedside lamps etc.
    I'm surprised that you seem surprised that there is no use for 100W bulbs. I hold that there is, and, as it was the biggest selling incandescent bulb before its withdrawal, so must many other people.
    Anyway, that's not the issue. When I have bought so called equivalent bulbs for 40, 60, and 100W bulbs, absolutely none of them were as bright as the equivalent stated !!!
  • onejontwo
    onejontwo Posts: 1,089 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary
    If you look on the box it has a figure of" lumens"which I think is the power output of the bulb and not the consumption ie wattage. Therefore if you buy say two 11 watt bulbs of different makes then one will probably have a greater "lumen" output and therefore be brighter.
  • icky15
    I know about lumens and I even know a little about colour temperature but that information on the box only obfuscates the given wattage rating which is the only figure that I reckon 95%+ of the population uses when buying a bulb, as that is the figure they're used to. Filament bulbs for domestic use were never sold on the basis of their 'lumens' or 'colour temperature' figure but on the wattage. The equivalent wattage is the bold figure that is used on CFL packaging with lumens etc confined to the smaller print.
    My contention is only that the equivalent wattage rating on any CFL bulb does NOT equate with the brightness of its given equivalent in every case I've seen, and that is many from various manufacturers. I still maintain that a 23 or 25W CFL bulb, given as a 125W equivalent, only equates, in actual fact, to a 100W filament bulb - QED.
  • silverfoxuk
    silverfoxuk Posts: 122 Forumite
    edited 19 November 2009 at 6:56PM
    More info here:

    UK transition to energy saving light bulbs is rocky


    This works out to a minimum CFL wattage of 16W to replace a 60W GLS and 26W for a 100W - around a 4:1 ratio. Other experts feel that even this is too optimistic. The Lighting Research Centre at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York recommends a 3:1 ratio: “You’ll still use only a fraction of the energy, while avoiding the possible disappointment of a dim lamp.”

    So you might be looking for an energy saving bulb of at least 26watt to compare with the light output of a 100watt traditional bulb.

    But bear in mind you might lose light over time, hence go for 26Watt+ on the new bulb:

    Energy-saving bulbs 'get dimmer'


    Energy-efficient light bulbs lose on average 22% of their brightness over their lifetime, a study has found. In some cases they emit just 60% as much light as traditional models which are being phased out of shops, it says.
    The study in Engineering and Technology magazine concluded that consumers were being misled by the bulbs' packaging.
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